Rare classics up for sale as London Motorcycle Museum closes its doors

The London Motorcycle Museum has closed due to ‘unaffordable rent’; Much of the private collection will soon be on sale. ​

London Motorcycle Museum

As of the 7th October, the London Motorcycle Museum has closed for good. Sadly, they couldn’t afford to pay the rent required at their former Greenford location.  

The museum was founded by dealer Bill Crosby in 1999 and was home to his private collection of about 200 motorcycles - some of historic interest dating all the way back to 1907.

In May, the museum celebrated 20 years of operation, but now there will be no more celebrations. With rents always on the rise in London, the museum has twice appealed for help to pay its bills. 

Mrs Crosby told London Live: “In the last few years it’s [rent] gone up to 100 per cent, so we are now paying ordinary commercial rent, which is reviewed every year and is going up, and we can’t do it”

Despite searching for other locations within the city, nowhere has affordable rent rates. Thus, the museum had to close and put the majority of the collection up for auction. 

The majority of Bill Crosby’s collection - which makes up over have of the exhibits - will be on sale at the Stafford Motorcycle Show on 19 October.

A museum spokesman said: "Our visitor books are full of enthusiastic comments and encouragement but sadly those do not pay the bills and we are now at a point where we are not able to continue. We would like wholeheartedly to thank all our dedicated volunteers over the years and everyone who has ever visited or expressed their support."

It took Bill around 65 years to build up his collection and it obviously pains him to sell his classic machines. But with no funding provided he has no choice.

Some of the notable bikes in his collection include a Triumph Thunderbird, Bonneville, Tiger Cub, and BSA Goldstar. The oldest bike, built in 1907, is a Brown Brother’s.

There are also some prototypes, including four Triumph three-cylinder models, and two that never went into production from the direct from the Triumph factory.